Tahini Brussel Sprouts with Seitan

This recipe is inspired by a dish from one of my favourite restaurants in Boston. The restaurant is called Sarma, and it serves turkish mezes (small, shareable dishes). It is my mom’s favourite restaurant and it’s always a wonderful treat to go when I return to boston to see the family. Now, while Sarma has lots of great vege options, it does also serve meat. We started going before we had all become vegetarians, and one dish we loved was roasted brussel sprouts with chorizo. We tried it without the chorizo after becoming vegetarians, however it wasn’t quite the same. 

While experimenting with seitan for my shawarma pita, I accidentally overcooked it once and tasted it. It was salty and chewy like chorizo and a light went off in my head. This dish can be eaten either as a side dish, or as a main dish. It is salty, spicy and the seitan adds a nice chewiness to it. Two notes here; first I like to use peanut oil to fry the shallots, but any neutral oil will do. Second, when I say shaved seitan it means to take your seitan and slice it very thinly either with a mandoline or by hand. I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think.

Active time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs Brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 shallots, thinly sliced semi-circles
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 cup shaved spiced seitan
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Smoked paprika, salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425. Toss the halved brussel sprouts with the olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Cook them on a lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes, until they have a nice charred colour but are not burnt. 
  2. Next, heat a large pan on medium heat. Once hot, fill the bottom with a layer of neutral oil. Add the shallots to the oil and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally. You want them to be a nice brown color, but not burnt. When ready, pour them over a fine mesh sieve with the oil and all (I pour it over a pyrex to let the hot oil cool before discarding). Let the oil drip out and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to let them cool and drain a bit further. 
  3. While the shallots fry, make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients and vigorously whisk together. Adjust the water levels to your liking. The sauce should be thick yet still liquid. 
  4. The pan you cooked the shallots in should still have a coating of oil. If there doesn’t appear to be enough oil to sauté the seitan add another touch. Return to medium heat and cook the seitan on medium heat, season with a pinch of salt, pepper and a dash of smoked paprika. Cook for 4-5 minutes until browning a bit and crispy. 
  5. Get a medium salad bowl out– add your fried shallots, the cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and toss gently to mix and coat.
  6. To plate and serve: add the sauce to the bottom of a large plate. Layer the brussel sprouts over the sauce, then the seitan and finally top with the fried shallots. Add another drizzle of sauce to your liking. Enjoy!

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